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Programmable single and multiplex base-editing in Bombyx mori using RNA-guided cytidine deaminases

By Yufeng Li, Sanyuan Ma, Le Sun, Tong Zhang, Jiasong Chang, Wei Lu, Xiaoxu Chen, Yue Liu, Xiaogang Wang, Run Shi, Ping Zhao, Qingyou Xia

Posted 22 Feb 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/269969 (published DOI: 10.1534/g3.118.200134)

Standard genome editing tools (ZFN, TALEN and CRISPR/Cas9) edited genome depending on DNA double strand breaks (DSBs). A series of new CRISPR tools that convert cytidine to thymine (C to T) without the requirement for DNA double-strand breaks were developed recently, which have changed this status and have been quickly applied in a variety of organisms. Here, we demonstrate that CRISPR/Cas9-dependent base editor (BE3) converts C to T with a high frequency in the invertebrate Bombyx mori silkworm. Using BE3 as a knock-out tool, we inactivated exogenous and endogenous genes through base-editing-induced nonsense mutations with an efficiency of up to 66.2%. Furthermore, genome-scale analysis showed that 96.5% of B. mori genes have one or more targetable sites being knocked out by BE3 with a median of 11 sites per gene. The editing window of BE3 reached up to 13 bases (from C1 to C13 in the range of gRNA) in B. mori. Notably, up to 14 bases were substituted simultaneously in a single DNA molecule, with a low indel frequency of 0.6%, when 32 gRNAs were co-transfected. Collectively, our data show for the first time that RNA-guided cytidine deaminases are capable of programmable single and multiplex base-editing in an invertebrate model.

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